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Published: 2013/02/20
by Mike Greenhaus

Butch Trucks: Beacon Bound

Shifting gears a little bit, do you plan to show this year’s Beacon shows on Moogis? I know you are streaming Wanee in April.

No, Moogis will not be at the Beacon this year. The Beacon is just such—there are so many obstacles to overcome there, and we’re retooling what the model looks like. We kind of jumped right into the toughest place you could go in taking a brand new idea—a brand new business model—and Jumping right into the New York City unions and New York City police. I mean, they’ve given us more hell…last year after like a week of our truck sitting out there the police came by and made us move the truck like 7 feet.

Pretty much we had to break down the whole damn thing and reset it up. I mean, it’s just too much damn trouble, and it’s way too expensive. We’re really, really focusing on getting Wanee up. More than that, Moogis was never intended to be strictly an Allman Brothers website. The model is to cover all of the music business. We’re going to start with jambands, and obviously I’ve started with The Allman Brothers for obvious reasons, but I think we’ve done enough at really pounding away at The Allman Brothers. We’re working hard on setting up the business so we can start bringing in other bands, especially some of the young, new, really hot bands that just have nowhere to go for exposure. I think one of the most important things we could do is to give those bands an actual audience. There’s streaming going on all over the internet but mostly they’re bands that are already established.

If you want to see a new band you pretty much have to go wallow through YouTube, and if you get lucky you might stumble across something. What we’ll do is put people to work going out and finding these young hot bands and putting them up on Moogis. Ultimately…there’s a few things we have to get done and they’re coming together, but hopefully in the next few months we’ll be able to get it up to where every night of the week you’ll be able to go online for a live concert. Either an up and coming band or an established band. Once we get rolling we’ll move on to say jazz or heavy metal. I know that if this is going to work then we’re going to have to have the jamband music only in a jamband site because jamband fans don’t like rap. They don’t like country music, they don’t particularly like heavy metal music—and vice versa.

So what we do is get the jamband site up and going and you log onto Moogis and go to the jamband part or the heavy metal part or the country part. Typically, I’d like to get every genre of music that makes sense included and make it a part of Moogis. I want Moogis to be a place to hear music. I want to hear live concerts—to hang out and talk with your friends or enemies or whatever about how great your band is and how much their band sucks. I see Moogis eventually becoming the Facebook of the music business. It will be a community site where you can come and it’s loaded with content, and it’s content that’s being provided by us, whereas Facebook is provided by the people that are on there. I get the feeling that people are getting bored by Facebook.

Facebook has definitely made it hard for fans or particular bands or styles of music to interact with each other with their new designs.

Music is just an integral part of the human condition: you gotta have it, you gotta have it. The radio stations are gone, and the internet, well there’s some music there but there’s no new paradigm, you know? There’s nothing that has stepped up to take over what the radio stations used to do and what record companies used to do; the radio stations are gone. There are a few scattered things going on online, like iTunes and Pandora. But Pandora’s not even video, it’s like a radio station on the internet.

The best way to see music is live. We’re putting a way for people to see live music and be on the other side of the world. If there’s a band you want to see, then just tune in to Moogis and watch them and if you like them then the next time they’re near you then just watch them.

Moving back to The Allman Brothers Band, you mentioned that The Allman Brothers Band is playing The Garden during Crossroads. If I am correct, it has been over 20 years since you played MSG.

You know, I think you’re right. We played there before The Allman Brothers got back together [one of two shows the band did in 1986]. It was Halloween night—I remember, I took my kids trick or treating in Manhattan. Funny. But it was called a Countdown Against Crack and Bill asked us to come play and when Bill Graham asked us to do something, we did it. I wish he was still around to ask us now, but he’s not. I’ve been to the Garden a few times myself since then—I went to see Derek [Trucks] play with Clapton there and it was amazing. It’s a fun place to play. Madison Square Garden has quite a history. So that’ll be fun and not only that, the cause is great and Clapton’s a great guy and the lineup of people is astounding.

The Allman Brothers Band’s touring schedule has been sporadic in recent years. Do you plan to tour this summer?

Well, this summer I’m going to be spending June and July in France. Derek has quite a heavy tour he’s doing with Susan [Tedeschi]. So in the middle of the summer there won’t be much Allman Brothers. We’ve got a tour booked August/September, and I think they’re putting something together for November. Next year will be our 45th anniversary so I think there’s going to be a lot of Allman Brothers touring next year.

Finally, given that Gregg has some new songs in the works and next year is the band’s 45th anniversary, do you think you might start working on a new album?

Yeah, I think we might—we just need to get the 40th anniversary [live album] out first. We’ve been pounding on people for four years. We recorded that thing in 2009 and here it’s 2013 and it’s not even out yet.

What does the 40th anniversary live album include?

It is from when we did the Beacon for the 40th anniversary. That’s when we had 67 guests show up, including the two nights with Clapton. We played our first show at [Florida’s] Jacksonville Beach Auditorium on March 26, 1969 and we kind of mark that as the beginning of The Allman Brothers Band. So on March 26, 2009 we didn’t have any guests.

For our first set, we did the first [self-titled] album, beginning to end and the second set was [our second album] Idlewild South, beginning to end. Then we came back out for the encore and played “Statesboro Blues” which you probably know is the first song on At Fillmore East. As far as I’m concerned that night was the best playing we did that whole run. It is so tight, I mean it is just roaring, and Gregg’s in great shape and sings great. We got a really, really good video editor that took what Moogis did and made it really nice. It’s been remixed, audio-wise, and it’s a first rate DVD, it really is. It’s coming out really soon.

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